KOCHI: The practice of placing LPG cylinders in bulk on the wayside of residential areas has drawn flak from several residents associations. Greater Cochin Development Watch (GCDW) president Stanley Paulose said the practice of keeping highly explosive and inflammable LPG gas cylinders near residential areas is very common in the city, especially West Kochi, which is thickly populated.
According to the Deputy Chief Controller of Explosive, there is no provision under the Gas Cylinder Rules 2004 to keep LPG cylinders in a place other than the licensed godown. In an RTI response made by the GCDW to the Indian Oil Corporation, it has been mentioned that there is no provision to keep the cylinders on the wayside. However, there are allegations that the dealers of all gas agencies resort to this practice of keeping the gas cylinders on pavements to facilitate distribution.
The association alleged that though the practice was brought to the notice of the Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, no action was taken in this regard.
“In Fort Kochi, and other areas, godowns are present in many places. However, the dealers have no qualms in storing them on the pavements near residential areas which is very dangerous. If it is not handled with care, explosions can occur,” said Association secretary Alan Moraise.
The locations where dealers commonly keep gas cylinders are at Panayappally bus stop, St Antony’s Novena Church, Chemmeens junction, Kappalandimukku bus stop and near Njaliparambu junction, Fort Kochi and in many other pockets in the city.
However, District Collector M G Rajamanickam was not available for comments.